It takes two: Lawyers and Mediators working together

It takes two: Lawyers and Mediators working togetherVery often it can seem as though you either have the choice of pursuing a legal route on divorce or a mediated route. Either you and your lawyers broker a deal between themselves on your behalves, or you sit with your ex in a room trying to pull something together yourselves.

But did you know that mediated outcomes, or any arrangements you have arrived at yourselves are non-binding? They need to be made binding on divorce by way of a consent order.

If your lawyers are already representing you in court or through solicitor negotiation, did you know that mediation can be utilised alongside this to encourage genuine dialogue and face to face discussion?

At the heart of this working is an understanding and acceptance of the different ‘compositional’ techniques and styles which map out the road to achieving the best of both professional worlds. After all, if you are hoping that any ‘agreements’ reached will stand the test of time, then you are more likely to achieve this if you and your ex have been part of the decision making process. Even if you are not, and you have to rely on others to decide an outcome for you, mediation has its place.

If you find yourself in proceedings of some sort, with lawyers assisting you in presenting your ‘side’ of things, or you find yourselves in a mediation and you would prefer the support of having on the spot advice available, there are many ways in which the two elements of both the legal and mediating professions can work in synergy, to garner the best results for you.

  • Where there are children’s proceedings in place; inherent delays can be obviated by a Direct Child Consultation process, a readily available and less intrusive way of hearing the voices of any children involve
  • Where there is an unresolved discreet issue in mediation, arbitration can help to guarantee a speedy and settled conclusion to discussions
  • Even when there can only be one of two outcomes; for example, if one of you is seeking to relocate the children either within the jurisdiction of England and Wales or outside, then mediation can complement the legal process. Mediated discussions for parents to agree post removal children’s arrangements can really assist the fairly bleak arena of this binary legal route
  • Where financial disclosure is complete and you and your ex want to negotiate an outcome in mediation whilst having access to immediate, on tap legal advice throughout
  • Where financial disclosure is complete and all information obtained, ready for FDR –you may prefer to try to find a settlement, with the help of lawyers or with just you and your ex in a face to face discussion in mediation
  • When you have worked hard in mediation for an outcome which you want to see translated into a binding order without too much of a delay, mediation proposals can be delivered in real time to lawyers who may then create heads of agreement or order

And of course, this is not exhaustive.

Relationship breakdown is already hard enough. Your separation or divorce is not just a process. You will want to look back and think you dealt with that stage in life as best you can. So the choices may seem many but are not so stark in reality.

If you want to find out more as to how mediators and lawyers work best together, or how you can ensure your own DIY divorce meets your needs, call our offices at New Landscape Mediation and speak to one of our accredited family mediators for a no-obligation, free, fully confidential conversation on 01279 211657.

Carolyn Hanes

Carolyn Hanes

At first glance Carolyn Hanes appears the archetypal legal professional. Beyond her many qualifications and years of experience in Family Law however lies the heart of a classical musician and poet. Originally from the Lake District, Carolyn’s love of nature vies constantly with music in her soul for top place, and best passion. Her working life over the years has been dedicated to finding a better way to help families in transition.
Carolyn Hanes

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